Precast: Bugatti Puh-lease, Cellular Mitosis, Breath a Lie Sir, China Uber Alles, Forever Ford?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Yes, yes, the next installment of the Ford Death Watch is coming. Who'd a thunk I'd write 90 episodes of the GM Death Watch only to watch Billy's Blue Oval Boys hit the buffers first, and in such spectacular fashion? Maybe I should combine the two DW's and call it Death Race 2006. But then if The General and FoMoCo manage to limp through the year I'd have to change the name, which would fan the flames of the flamers who believe that just because something hasn't happened yet means it won't happen at all. In fact, I have a message for those stalwart loyalists who snigger at my ongoing insistence that The Big Two Point Five's sky is falling. Their sky is falling. And just be grateful I didn't start blogging in 1973, when Detroit's fate was sealed. I'll be here chronicling this story to the bitter end, and beyond. And I won't say I told you so once. On a more positive note, this is a fine Rioja, with tremendous body and a clean finish. Which is what I wish for both GM and Ford. May they rise Phoenix-like from the ashes to make gotta have cars that TTAC can review with our usual candor, passion and sarcastic flippancy; without having to borrow one from a dealer.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Bubba Gump Bubba Gump on Sep 15, 2006
    without having to borrow one from a dealer Is this the real root of your behest? You've been on a personal mission since you went off on a flagrant rant about GM PR not kissing the shiny side of your derrier and have been on that rant ever since. I don't snigger at many of your comments because alot is true (I read what people say and do what I can do as a GM employee to make the right choices within the realm of possibility given the job I do) but there is more spin in some regards than deserved, but I got news for ya. 1 of the 2.5 is off the ventilator and breathing much better than you give it credit for so I'm gonna say this right now. the Delphi issue will be settled, GM will not commit suicidal bankruptcy, and come 2008 when all the lines have been rolled out and the current product lines rerefined it will be well on the way to recovery. If I'm wrong I'll be the first one in here to say Robert was right and I was wrong and that we at GM simply could not, would not concede to the japanese because we as employees were to arrogant or blind and we got what we deserved. If I'm right you gotta eat public crow and say you were wrong.
  • Terry Parkhurst Terry Parkhurst on Sep 16, 2006

    For those who have solid memories of the early '80s, you can recall that Ford was indeed ready to cease building cars in North America - according to anonymous sources quoted in business wire services of the day. Moody's and Standard and Poors, as I recall, rated Ford's stock at the junk level. The reason was simple: product was poor and it was ugly. In 1979, Fortune magazine had a cover story entitled: Does Ford make the ugliest cars in the auto industry? For evidence, Fortune put the LTD, Thunderbird and some other forgettable cars, never to be collected except perhaps by museums ("This exhibit shows how bad it got in the American auto industry, circa 1974 through '84..."). But then, Ford made the Mustang Five-Oh. And finally, when they had figured out that front wheel drive wasn't just a passing fancy of American consumers, they built the Taurus. It might be hard to believe, but when the Taurus came out, it was a Big Deal. It became known as "the car that saved Ford." But then, Ford decided to built the Explorer. And middle-brow America had found their vehicle. By the time the Explorer and its cousin, the Mercury Moutaineer have become half-decent - with independent suspension at all four wheels and automatic transmissions that shift when they should - the marketplace has shifted big time. And who ever thought it would be a good long-term idea to build a machine called the Excursion and compete with the Suburban? That person deserves a TTAC article on whomever it is, as the Man (or Woman) who ensured Ford's doom. But yeah, miracles happen. The Taurus saved Ford in 1985. The Mustang reinvigorated Ford in 1964. And the "shoebox" Ford sedan and coupe saved Ford in 1949. But even as recently as 1985, the competition wasn't quite as fierce in the marketplace for automobiles - forget the trucks and SUVs, just automobiles. The South Korean companies are now major players, and likely will continue to be. The truly dumb thing, to my mind, was someone at Ford's decision to kill the Lincoln Town Car, perhaps one of the better cars they have. Could it be the same person who authorized the Excursion?

  • Skor Skor on Sep 16, 2006

    The situation at Ford makes me want to sing. Fairwell and adieu to you fair Spanish ladies, fairwell and adieu you ladies of Spain, for we've received orders for to sail back to Boston, and so never more shall we see you again!

  • Chanman Chanman on Sep 21, 2006

    Whoa, is that the Flying V on the front of that Veyron?